Drumheller is the “Dinosaur Capital of the World.” The badlands are home to exceptional rock formations, gorgeous canyons, hoodoos, and fossil beds with the remains of beasts, both large and small, that once ruled the land. There is plenty in Drumheller for the dinosaur-inclined, including the amazing Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Once you’ve had your fill of our prehistoric friends, fear not: Drumheller also offers lots of non-dinosaur fun. Here are a few examples of unique Drumheller experiences for those looking to shake things up.
Explore Horseshoe Canyon
Just before you arrive in Drumheller on Highway 9, make sure to explore this mini-Grand Canyon. The rugged terrain and natural beauty of Horseshoe Canyon makes for the perfect outing for adventurers and would-be hikers. Get a group together and tackle the trails, keeping an eye out for cactus along the way! Even if you’ve visited the site before, the seasonal changes have a way of making the dazzling rock formations take on a second or third life.
Climb into the mouth of the World’s Largest Dinosaur
Have you seen the 25-metre-tall Tyrannosaurus rex, nicknamed Tyra, that welcomes visitors to the area? It’s not like you’ll find a gargantuan T. rex in every small town you visit. You can go inside the World’s Largest Dinosaur, climb up 106 stairs to the top, and be rewarded with an unparalleled view of Drumheller and the surrounding badlands. This is likely the only time you will want to find yourself in the jaws of a giant carnivore!
Walk or bike the trails
Take a trip outside along some of Drumheller’s 18-kilometre-long trail network. These pathways run through downtown, stretch past the Royal Tyrrell Museum, and alongside the Red Deer River through rugged natural scenery. Renting an e-bike from Bikes and Bites helps to support local business, while also creating an inclusive opportunity for all members of your family to adventure together. For the more adventurous, Red Deer River Adventures offers kayak and canoe rentals, and even organizes guided tours to highlight the stunning scenery and unique geology of the area.
Hunt for dinosaur statues
There are so many dinosaur statues to be discovered in Drumheller. How many can you find? Follow the Dino Map and see if you can locate the 30+ sculptures throughout the Drumheller Valley. Did you know some of our dinosaurs are over 50 years old?! The first dinosaur, “Dinnie,” was installed in 1960 for Dominion Day (Canada Day) and can be found in the Rotary Park, by the fountain. Don’t forget to share your photos on social media using the hashtag #dinoarts.
Conquer the Mammoth Burger
If you’re feeling competitive (and hungry), why not challenge yourself to finish the Mammoth Burger at Bernie & the Boys Bistro? After a day of exploring the badlands, nothing satisfies your hunger like a meal at one of Drumheller’s most iconic locally-owned restaurants. The Mammoth Burger was featured on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here for its incredible size and delicious taste. The burger itself is loaded with a 24-oz homemade beef patty on an 8-inch custom bun, topped with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The current record for finishing the burger is 10 minutes and 11 seconds. Consider splitting it with a friend (or two)!
Unearth Drumheller’s coal mining heritage
Dig up something different at the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site. Discover the important coal mining history of the Drumheller region, where at one time, 139 coal mines were in operation. Choose from a variety of tours, including an underground tour and the train tour. Don’t forget your camera/phone, because the Atlas is one of Canada’s most photogenic historic sites and the seven-story tipple is the last wooden tipple remaining in Canada.
Spend a day at Barney’s Adventure Park
One of Drumheller’s newest attractions is Barney’s Barnyard, Boomtown, and Boneyard, a 15-acre property offering unique agricultural, geological, and dinosaur-related activities for the whole family. Daily activities range from mini pig races, to zip-lining, a pedal car speedway, and even a dinosaur walk in the forest!
Find the perfect souvenir
Drumheller is home to a great array of gift shops with unique souvenirs, including some fossils. The Fossil Shop, Fossil World Jurassic Store, the Royal Tyrrell Museum Shop, and the World’s Largest Dinosaur Gift Shop feature a huge selection of keepsakes to suit every style and interest. Looking for a new wall adornment? Maybe some dinosaur swag to impress your friends? You’ll be in good hands at any of these gift shops, with many interesting items, including locally made products.
Enjoy a locally roasted coffee
Black Mountain Roasters is a local café serving delicious beverages, amazing cinnamon rolls, and tasty sandwiches to refuel after a morning of dinosaur hunting. While you’re there, grab a bag of their signature roasted coffee beans. With names like Raptor, Albertosaurus, and Stegosaurus artisan coffees, they are sure to make a great memento of your visit to the Drumheller Valley.
Relax with friends at Valley Brewing
Drumheller’s first and only micro brewery boasts an open-air patio near downtown and a range of iconic brews that pay homage to the Valley’s history. Valley Brewing is locally-owned and operated and has already taken home top prize at the Last Best IPA Tap Takeover for their Namesake Hazy IPA in 2019!
Your next great getaway awaits you in Drumheller! Whether you’ve come to discover more about the town’s dinosaur reputation, or you’re looking for a charming night out in the scenic badlands, there’s plenty to do. Choose your own adventure in the Drumheller Valley this year. For even more inspiration, check out our Exploration Guide.